The Council of Ricks Patrol ran our November meetings and they didn’t let us down! The theme was engineering and we kicked off the month with having 5 different engineers come and talk to us about their education, field of expertise and work. We talked with an Electrical Engineer, an EE with a specialization in Automation, a Civil Engineer, a Mechanical Engineer and a Professional Engineer. For those who started Blue Cards, we were able to get a few things signed off for the Engineering Merit Badge.
During the month we also had first ‘Merit Badge Monday’ meeting where Scouts earned requirements towards the “Citizenship in the World” Merit Badge. A huge thank you to Mr. Fodera for organizing this event!
In honor of Veterans Day, we opened the meeting up to friends, family and veterans as we welcomed three WWII veterans to come and talk to us about their experiences.
A personal friend of the Maslankas, John Hansen was 16 years old in 1940when his parents signed for him to enlist in the Navy. Born in Denmark and raised in Newark, he was serving on the U.S.S. Argonne at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked. Hansen recalled being able to see into the cockpits of the Japanese planes as they were attacking and afterwards working to rescue and recover those who were trapped in the bombed and torpedoed ships. One of the last Pearl Harbor survivors living in the New Jersey, Hansen returned to Pearl Harbor in 1991 to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the attack.
On June 1944, at age 17 Archie Fagan, a recent high school graduate, was drafted into the Army. Over the next two and a half years he served as an interrogator of German prisoners. Fagan, who served with the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp and was a military observer in the 1946 Nuremberg trials. He was honorably discharged in December 1946 and went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania via the GI Bill.
Richard Ehlert enlisted in the Navy and served in the Invasion of Normandy where he worked on LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank). Ehlert explained that the ships would reach the beach, open the bay doors in the bow, open the ramp and roll off the equipment. His ship made seven trips to Omaha Beach, delivering crucial large equipment and guns. Ehlert also sailed through the Panama Canal to also serve in the Pacific Theater of the war. He served in the Navy until 1952.
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We held our annual ‘Scouts-giving’ dinner for our scout families and had a great time. (Thanks to Mrs. Strober for organizing everything!)